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Old 04-08-2016, 13:26   #16
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Re: Trolling for Tuna, One Line or Two?

Most definitely 2 lines and at different depths with different colors or lures. I use darker colored lures on cloudy days and brighter/shiny lures on sunny days. Tuna are very skittish you need to put your bait as far back as you can. Tuna tend to dive after initial strike, reel in the free line and get it out of your way quickly.
Tight Lines!!
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Old 04-08-2016, 13:30   #17
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Re: Trolling for Tuna, One Line or Two?

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Most definitely 2 lines and at different depths with different colors or lures. I use darker colored lures on cloudy days and brighter/shiny lures on sunny days. Tuna are very skittish you need to put your bait as far back as you can. Tuna tend to dive after initial strike, reel in the free line and get it out of your way quickly.
Tight Lines!!
Excellent!

What do I do if I get two strikes at the same time? Is that considered lucky or an unwelcome handfull?
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Old 04-08-2016, 13:47   #18
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Re: Trolling for Tuna, One Line or Two?

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Excellent!

What do I do if I get two strikes at the same time? Is that considered lucky or an unwelcome handfull?
If your wife can't assist, then don't you really only have one option? Pick one line to reel in and hope the other doesn't rip off in the meantime?

Not sure which would be better to reel in first: hand land versus reel shorter line versus longer, quicker fish to get on board versus longer, larger fish versus smaller (if it were even possible to tell). As I think about it, I'd probably start with whatever line I thought I could bring in faster.

I'd consider it lucky like winning the lottery: it is generally great, but could end in a **** show. I could see how getting two tunas tangled could mean the loss of both.
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Old 04-08-2016, 13:54   #19
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Re: Trolling for Tuna, One Line or Two?

What the heck, I'm going for it, 'just ordered a second Penn reel. We'll be cruising for the next 15 years and both of us love fresh tuna.
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Old 04-08-2016, 13:58   #20
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Re: Trolling for Tuna, One Line or Two?

I use two lines with different lengths and lure types. If I get two fish on I release one. We don't have the capacity to store two large fish. For the same reason I don't put a lure out unless we are down to less than 2 days worth of fish in the freezer, or we are coming into an anchorage where someone else can use the fish.
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Old 04-08-2016, 14:33   #21
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Trolling for Tuna, One Line or Two?

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This has become very apparent to me with my new-ish 25' diving plug. It either pulls like there is a fish on or it is skipping across the surface. I'm going to try running it with some weight to see if it will at least consistently stay under. Still have to figure out how to tell when there is a fish on rather than just the "normal" pulling action... I have to put my drag setting at around 10 to 15 pounds to get the line to stop letting out.

I don't think you can use a diving plug at 7 kts. I have probably a dozen Mann Stretch 30's that are unusable, used to be my favorite plug, trolling for Grouper. I think they still dive, but as you have said, they pull excessively.
Maybe a non diver with a weight? But I've had good luck with surface lures, OK I'm sure not as much luck, but instead of trying to catch a limit of fish every day, if I get one on a three day passage, if it's a good fish, I'm happy.


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Old 05-08-2016, 07:27   #22
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Re: Trolling for Tuna, One Line or Two?

Have some friends who are pro sport fishing captains. One technique they use to to run a spread of multiple lures of different colors/shapes. See what is getting hit the most and modify their spread. They also stagger them at varying distances from the boat.

On my boat, I can run up to 5 rods at the same time (with no outriggers!). Have used this and the above technique to get multipe hook ups. Lots of fun with fishing guests aboard. Trolled a school of feeding Tuna once and got a hook up on all 5 rods! Much to my surprise we boated all 5...had a bunch of serious fishing guests aboard.

To fish seriously and run multiple rods you really need at least one person doing the fishing and one running the boat.
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Old 05-08-2016, 07:56   #23
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Re: Trolling for Tuna, One Line or Two?

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All helpful advice so far. I'm leaning towads a second rod and reel or short handline.
One rod and a hand line with 80lb line is what we drag. I like a Ballyhoo rig on the rod and usually troll a red/yellow feather jig, blue/pink cedar plug or a second Ballyhoo rig with a different color skirt to give more than one option to the fish. One other tip. Try spraying your rigs with WD40 before throwing them in. Gets rid of the human scent.. Good luck..
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:38   #24
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Re: Trolling for Tuna, One Line or Two?

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Makes sense to me. But does it double my odds or is it more like buying lottery tickets, where you need to buy one just to be in the game? But buying the second ticket only increases your chance by just a minute amount. Do you need more lures just to be seen, or can the fish see that one lure for quite some distance? Or, am I better off using multiple lures on a single line?
It's hit or miss (pun intended). Use two lines, different lures, colors and depths. When you get a strike, set the hook and get the other line in asap.
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:52   #25
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Re: Trolling for Tuna, One Line or Two?

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So far the biggest revelation for me is that we tend to troll at much higher speeds and therefore a lot of my lures aren't useable. I used to troll to fish and of course would run the right speed for the lure.
Now I fish as a function of trying to get somewhere, and I will not shorten sail to slow down to proper trolling speed.

BTW, fishing is ALL beginners luck, that is why most of us go fishing, only a very few go catching.
Have to disagree with the beginners luck comment. 10% of fishermen catch 98% of the fish. Luck has little to do with it. It has to do with knowledge, skill and persistence a lot more than luck. To answer the OP's question though with almost all species of tuna it is better to have more lines out than less. You want to create the impression of a large school of bait fish to bring them up. Use teasers like tuna birds and Gatorade bottles to splash the surface and use ganged lures in tandem. I run three rods but that's off a Cat not a mono. We've had dozens of double and triple headers especially with tuna but also trevally, sailfish and other species. It's just me and my wife, but it's all part of the fun and teamwork to get what fish you can to the boat. Do we get tangles and lose gear? Ya, sometimes, but well worth it for tasty fresh fish. Adjust your lured to your speed not the other way around when cruising. You can also add weights to make lures work at higher speeds so they don't cavitate. Tight lines!
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:59   #26
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Re: Trolling for Tuna, One Line or Two?

For trolling at sea at "whatever speed the boat is going" I don't think you need anything but a weighted rubber squid. Two color maybe. Just when I would start to think the Blue/white is best, the Green/yellow would start producing better. Fish are colorblind right? They probably see various colors as different shades of grey though. In the end I was using hooks that were much bigger than I started with. at least 1.5" or more from barb to shank. Forget what size that is. SS leader to avoid loss of lures etc to Barracuda or sharks.


I agree that fishing is luck mostly. With the caveat "if you are using the same lures the pros are" anyway.


Either that or my grandson learned a lot about it in the womb!
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:05   #27
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Re: Trolling for Tuna, One Line or Two?

We usually have two lines out, one from each hull and of different lengths. We dont use rods except when fishing from the tender. We have never had two strikes at the same time. We reel the one free line in when we do take a bite to avoid tangles. The majority of our fishing gear came via eBay.


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I recently had some beginner's luck catching

my first tuna trolling one line off the back of our sailboat. I used a Penn 80stw and a trolling rod.

Question: Will adding a second rig increase the odds of catching a fish, or will it just complicate things when we hook onto a tuna? As in tangled lines and potential lost equipment like loures etc.? Usually, it's just the two of us onboard.

I was thinking about adding a second reel and rod next season.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:51   #28
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Re: Trolling for Tuna, One Line or Two?

Millhouse 44 is spot on. Where there is one tuna there are many. More rods = more fish. Don't sweat trying to run one on the surface and one deep. When you hook up that fish is usually going deep and even if the lines do cross (ie. you hooked a sailfish) you simply move one line over the other to clear it. Simple.

Cedar plugs are tough to beat for the non-sportfishing tuna enthusiast. Black Bart Ahi XXX is another perennial favorite as is a Green Machine up north in the canyons. When you start to get more serious and want to rig for pelagics ballyhoo w/ Islanders are the first in my spread to hit the water. But who wants to cruise w/ ballyhoo in the freezer? Another poster who suggested daisy chaining lures and running teasers is also correct. The larger the "school of bait" chasing the boat the more strikes you'll get. The only problem is that some of the pelagics have dentures like a wahoo. So you'll catch more fish w/ 150# mono or floro rigged lures up until you run over a hoo or kingfish - then you'll need another lure. Option B is rig w/ wire - you'll catch fewer fish but you'll catch the toothy ones.

Boat speed is also critical. 6-9 knots for tuna is my preferred range. 14 knots for wahoo. 4 knots = trash fish, pull the lines in you are no longer fishing.

Finally, the poster w/ the gaff suggestion is likewise spot on - AFTCO 3" X 6' - lay it over the back of the fish and in one motion drive it through its head and into the boat.

Get the wasabi.


A final suggestion if I may regarding your tackle - Penn Int'l 80s are for marlin and giant blue fin tuna fishing. Way overkill. The 80 means that the drag can be set for 80 pounds. Do yourself a favor and fish 30's. Spool the 30's w/ 60# mono. Set the drags using a scale to 18#s at Strike and buy a fighting belt. When you hook into the fish of a lifetime, the 30s will beat you or your angler up a lot less than the 80s.


Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2016, 12:55   #29
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Re: Trolling for Tuna, One Line or Two?

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Millhouse 44 is spot on. Where there is one tuna there are many. More rods = more fish. Don't sweat trying to run one on the surface and one deep. When you hook up that fish is usually going deep and even if the lines do cross (ie. you hooked a sailfish) you simply move one line over the other to clear it. Simple.

Cedar plugs are tough to beat for the non-sportfishing tuna enthusiast. Black Bart Ahi XXX is another perennial favorite as is a Green Machine up north in the canyons. When you start to get more serious and want to rig for pelagics ballyhoo w/ Islanders are the first in my spread to hit the water. But who wants to cruise w/ ballyhoo in the freezer? Another poster who suggested daisy chaining lures and running teasers is also correct. The larger the "school of bait" chasing the boat the more strikes you'll get. The only problem is that some of the pelagics have dentures like a wahoo. So you'll catch more fish w/ 150# mono or floro rigged lures up until you run over a hoo or kingfish - then you'll need another lure. Option B is rig w/ wire - you'll catch fewer fish but you'll catch the toothy ones.

Boat speed is also critical. 6-9 knots for tuna is my preferred range. 14 knots for wahoo. 4 knots = trash fish, pull the lines in you are no longer fishing.

Finally, the poster w/ the gaff suggestion is likewise spot on - AFTCO 3" X 6' - lay it over the back of the fish and in one motion drive it through its head and into the boat.

Get the wasabi.


A final suggestion if I may regarding your tackle - Penn Int'l 80s are for marlin and giant blue fin tuna fishing. Way overkill. The 80 means that the drag can be set for 80 pounds. Do yourself a favor and fish 30's. Spool the 30's w/ 60# mono. Set the drags using a scale to 18#s at Strike and buy a fighting belt. When you hook into the fish of a lifetime, the 30s will beat you or your angler up a lot less than the 80s.


Good luck!
Personally, I think the question regarding Ballyhoo should be "what fisherman would want to use frozen ballyhoo" instead of worrying about storing them in your freezer but then again, I just get it out some bread and the cast net to have fresh baits.. I agree with the cedar plugs and I also use the feather jigs mainly in red/yellow. My favorite color skirts for the Ballyhoo rigs are blue / pink, and chartreuse / green.. These are all I use trolling because they work for me. I tried using large Rapala style plugs, but only caught Barracuda with them so tossed them out. The squid lures haven't been too successful either.
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Old 05-08-2016, 13:01   #30
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Re: Trolling for Tuna, One Line or Two?

Wow! So much awesome advice. I'm so glad I started this thread.

The guys who said luck has nothing to do with fishing.... Does that mean my friend Ken gave me some excellent advice to start me out? I did my homework, but really, I didn't expect to catch my first tuna only four hours into my very first attempt at fishing in over 40 years.
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